Russia is now the world’s leading exporter of new multirole fighter jets, a Moscow-based research center said Tuesday.
Russia’s Center for the Analysis of the Global Arms Trade said, when calculated in volume terms, Russia was the market-leader for the supply of multirole fighter jets for 2009-2012, according to figures from Russia’s arms exporter Rosoboronexport.
In that four-year period, Russia supplied 224 new jets valued at about $9 billion, the center said in a statement on its website Tuesday.
However, the center noted Russia cedes its market-leading position to the US if combat aircraft sales in that period are calculated in terms of value, not volume.
Russia has enjoyed most of its combat aircraft sales success in Asia in the last decade, winning orders from India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, but has also broken into the South American market with a deal to sell Su-30 fighters to Venezuela. Most of the aircraft ordered have been Sukhoi Su-27 and Su-30 series jets, but some MiG-29 fighters and Yak-130 combat trainers have also been sold, according to Rosoboronexport.
The center said it expects Russia to maintain its leading position through 2016, based on predicted sales that include a potential deal with China for 24 Sukhoi Su-35 fighters (South China Morning Post reported a preliminary deal signed in December 2012), a new contract with Vietnam for 12 Su-30MK2s inked last week, and a possible deal with Syria for 24 MiG-29M/M2s.
The current situation in Syria, where a civil war has been raging for two years and over which now hangs the specter of international intervention, could impact this last deal, the center conceded.
Looking at the period to 2016, counting both deliveries that have taken place and those that are expected, the center predicts that Russia will retain its leading position thanks to manufacturers Sukhoi and Irkut (operating now under one holding company) – ahead of America’s Lockheed Martin, China’s Chengdu Aircraft Company, and America’s Boeing.